Is 'Fifty Shades' to blame for rise in handcuff emergencies?
July 30, 2013 -- Updated 2145 GMT (0545 HKT)
- "Fifty Shades" could be behind rise in emergencies involving handcuffs, London firefighters say
- The city's firefighters have been called to 79 handcuff incidents in the past three years
- A U.S. congressman says prisoners in Guantanamo are also fans
London (CNN) -- The bestselling erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" may have done more than spice up readers' love lives.
Firefighters in London say it could be to blame for a rise in the emergency calls from people stuck in all kinds of awkward situations -- some involving handcuffs.
Read more: Explaining 'Fifty Shades' wild success
The wildly-popular trilogy details the S&M-flavored love story of a recent college grad and a billionaire CEO. It's also credited with boosting sales of sex toys, driving women to hook-up sites and fueling a craze over sexual domination.
So, it's not surprising there would be a downside.
In the past three years, London's fire crews have been called to 79 incidents involving people trapped in handcuffs.
'Fifty Shades of Grey' becomes musical
'Mr. Fifty Shades' talks of wife, family
'Mommy porn' pulled from library shelves
"I don't know whether it's the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up," said Third Officer Dave Brown.
"I'm sure most people will be Fifty Shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them."
Such red-faced moments are among more than 1,300 calls involving people being trapped "often in everyday household items" since 2010, the fire service said.
Such calls are not just awkward; they end up costing the taxpayer. London Fire Brigade puts the cost of these 1,300 calls at £377,000 ($580,000.)
But it's not just London where E L James' erotic fiction has been making an impact.
Virginia Representative Jim Moran said the trilogy is a hit in a camp housing high-value detainees within the Guantanamo Bay prison complex.
"Rather than the Quran, the book that is requested most by the (high-value detainees) is Fifty Shades of Grey. They've read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it," he said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
The insight into the prisoners' reading habits was provided by military officials showing a congressional delegation around Camp Seven, the Democrat said.
"I guess there's not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell," he is quoted as saying.
The trilogy has sold more than 32 million copies in the United States alone since the first installment was published in 2011. With a film version due for release next year, London's firefighters may have to respond to many more calls.
So, the fire brigade has a word of advice to offer: Use a little common sense.
And if you try handcuffs, always keep the keys handy.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.